Meeting with FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

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Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko and President of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) Kirsan Ilyumzhinov agreed to regularly hold large chess tournaments in Minsk at the meeting in Minsk on 18 December.

In particular, Minsk will host the women’s grand prix next year and the Women’s World Chess Championship, a 64-player knockout tournament, in autumn where 64 strongest players from 50 countries will compete for the champion’s crown. This tournament is expected to take place in November 2016.

“We are not ashamed of our achievements in this intellectual sport, although it is even difficult to say whether it is sport or art; therefore, we are doing our best in Belarus to support it, not only create the potential of this sport, but also develop it,” the Belarusian head of state said.

At the same time, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted with regret that if children and young players reach good results at international competitions, adults are less successful. “This is our main area of focus,” the Belarusian leader said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that the Belarusian side is always ready to help FIDE hold any events in the country. “You know that the state is always ready to lend a shoulder in this area and help our adult players reach good results in this important sport,” the Belarusian President noted.

“I think you will sincerely say what we lack, what we can do ourselves, and what we can do with your assistance in Belarus,” Aleksandr Lukashenko told Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, in turn, said that the holding of large-scale chess events in Minsk will help promote the progress of Belarusian chess players. “On the one hand, this is the development and popularization of chess among the population; on the other hand, this is the support of professional chess players, the possibility to play at such large-scale tournaments, get awards and titles,” he said.